From last time ....
She gently fell back into a dreamless and deep sleep. Her last conscious thought was how lucky she had been to find such people out here, in the desert, out in the middle of nowhere. And this bed is REALLY comfortable .....
And now ....
Sarah woke in the morning with a fuzzy feeling like there was something she needed to remember. Something about Ma .... Was she really keeping guard out side my door? She got out of bed and walked over to the door, opened it slightly and looked out into the corridor. It was empty. No sign of anyone out there - or having been there. Except ... there was a fresh scrape on the wall opposite her door. Where something fell against it. Like a rifle, perhaps.
She remembered. And she remembered the dream that came after.
She got dressed and headed for the front counter, picked up the key to her 'new' jeep, and walked out the front door to see where it was parked. Right in front. A freshly painted Willys. She jumped in, put in the key, hit the starter and drove across the dusty parking lot to the Diner.
There were a couple of semis parked near the road and a nondescript sedan parked in front of the double doors, but other than that, 5 o'clock in the morning didn't seem to generate a lot of traffic that found its way to the Diner.
She walked in and looked around. A couple of truckers sat at the counter, head down and eating like there was no tomorrow. A sleepy looking waitress sat on a stool at the far end of the counter. She waved to her in a motion that said she could sit wherever she wanted.
In a booth in the far corner sat Jake Bertrett.
She walked back to his booth and sat down across from him.
"Hi, Jake. You're up early."
"Yeah, well, I didn't get much sleep last night. That your jeep I saw you pull up front in?"
"Yeah. Jose from the gas station across the highway had it. I was afraid someone might recognize my car so Ma traded my car for the jeep."
"I never would have recognized that jeep as the one Jose had. Who did the paint job?"
"I don't know - some cousin, I guess."
"Nice job. That tan color is good for the desert."
"So. Are you having breakfast?"
"No. I was waiting for you."
"How'd you know I'd come in here?"
"I figured you'd come in here for coffee."
"Okay. So why are you waiting for me?"
"I need to tell you not to go to the shop this morning. There was trouble last night and I have to figure out what to do next."
"Somebody's is trying to kill you. Or they tried already."
"How the fuck did you know that?"
"I had a dream last night. It was weird. The Kid was trying to warn me your life was in danger."
"Shit. I wish he would have warned ME!"
"So what happened?"
"I've got a small group of troublemakers in 'The Sons' and last night things kind of came to a head. One of 'em tried to shoot me, but he loaded his weapon with those blanks I made for Giamatti. I threw the stupid fucker out but these guys won't give up now that they've made a move. I got a guy I know from the Reservation, Billy Two Feathers, who'll run the place for me, but I'm gonna hafta stay out of sight for a while."
"Where are you gonna stay?"
"Out at that line shack at the base of the ridge."
"What about me? We have a lot of stuff to do yet."
"No problem. I've got a good store of supplies out there, the Sons don't know about that place, and you have a jeep now so it will be easy for you to get back and forth. We can set up a range and we can do the rest of the work out there just as easily as we can at the shop. I have your weapons packed in my car and there's enough ammo to last for a while. I can have Two Feathers make more loads as we go along."
The waitress walked up to their booth, order pad and pen in hand. She looked down at Sarah.
"What'll ya have, Honey?"
"I guess I'm going to need breakfast - and a Danish won't do. Does that cook do a good Denver Omlette?"
"Yeah, he does okay, I guess. What about you, Jake?"
"Yeah. I guess I better eat, too. Nuthin' like some good chow to make a guy feel like he can take on the world."
"Oh, yeah? Come by after I get off - I'll bet I can think of sumthin'."
Sarah shot the waitress a dirty look. She didn't notice.